Spirit Magazine - April 2013 - (Page 72)

It w asn one t h I n ’t par g In t Ic u lar tha t ma me t de ake slow up f or ne s a mo s nth . it was an avalanche of things: the cellphone that never stopped beeping, the friends I saw only on Facebook, the daily pentathlon from our son’s school to keyboard lesson to play rehearsal to fastfood place to bed. Whatever happened to undivided attention? Staying and chatting? Or, better yet, doing nothing? The numbed-out hare in me really wanted to play tortoise awhile. Scrambling around the house one afternoon, I knew it was time. I was slammed with deadlines and running to get to an appointment when, living slow, Family-style You know the symptoms. Kids spending all weekend glued to TVs and video games. Grown-ups so stressed they can’t breathe. Friends feeling disconnected and isolated. The remedies may be easier than you think, says Bernadette Noll, author of the new book, Slow Family Living: 75 Simple Ways to Slow Down, Connect, and Create More Joy. If Noll can do it, anyone can. She and her husband, Kenny, live in Austin, Texas, with— count them—four kids, ages 15, 13, 10, and 6. 72 spirit april 2013 in short order, I tripped over my computer cord, snapped at my wife, Ruth, for losing the car keys (they were in my pocket, naturally), and argued with our plumber for charging $75 for a repair I could have done for $5—if only I’d had the time. It wasn’t until our 8-year-old, Sebastian, appeared at my side with a shoebox rattling with birthday money (“I can pay, Daddy,” he said gravely) that I realized I was being a stressed-out jerk. I apologized, paid in full, and vowed on the spot to ease up on my go-go-go-go-go approach to life. Somewhere beyond the bottomless to-do list in my head was a soft-focus visual of the sort of experience I was craving. Rosy-cheeked from an exhilarating stroll, I sat down at a long table with friends and loved ones, clinking glasses as course after farm-fresh course arrived to jubilant “aaahs.” And this was just lunch. Unfortunately, the message today is to speed up or get steamrollered. Taking the afternoon off to play Scrabble with the family? Try explaining that to the boss. I couldn’t afford to ditch the rat race, but what about making more time to enjoy the cheese? Ruth and I discussed adding meditation to our morning routine, and maybe tai chi, and perhaps walking places instead of driving. I tensed up just thinking about all that planning. Instead, we decided to put the brakes on everything for a while. For 30 days—a month I dubbed “Slowvember”—we would focus on doing things well rather than fast, on making human connections instead of electronic ones, and on getting more out of life DeciDing to Be Done In home life, there’s never a time when everything gets done. It’s up to us to make that conscious decision. “One more load of laundry won’t matter,” Noll says. “Emptying the dishwasher can wait. It’s OK to let things sit sometimes and say, ‘I’m finished for the moment.’” If you can’t bear looking at all that needs tending, turn your back to the kitchen sink. Go for a walk. Enjoy being. “The dishes will wait.” Making eye contact The simple act of a gentle touch or making eye contact can have huge positive impact on your connections within your family. “When you go through the course of a regular day, everyone’s so busy you sometimes don’t even look at each other,” says Noll. Just taking that few extra seconds to stand face to face or talk about homework, perhaps with a hand on your little one’s shoulder, “creates a moment that’s too important to neglect.”

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Spirit Magazine - April 2013

Spirit Magazine - April 2013
Gary’s Greeting
Gary’s Greeting en Español
Star of the Month
Freedom Story
From the Editor
Your Words
Your Pictures
Media Center
Eat Drink Sleep
The Numbers
Wise Guide
Almost Famous
Not So Fast
Your Adventure In...
Promotional Series: Destination Texas
Promotional Series: Spirit of Golf Reno Tahoe
Promotion: Spirit of Franchise Opportunities
Community Outreach
Route Map
Terminal Maps
Rapid Rewards Partners
Flight Service
The “If” List

Spirit Magazine - April 2013